Training for food handlers

Food business operators are required by law, to ensure that food handlers receive appropriate supervision and instruction/training in food hygiene in line with their work activity and should enable them to handle food safely.

If you are responsible for developing and maintaining a business's food safety management procedures, you must have received adequate training to enable you to do this.

Food hygiene certificate

In the UK, food handlers don't have to hold a food hygiene certificate to prepare or sell food, although many food businesses will prefer that they do. The necessary skills may be obtained through on-the-job training, self-study or relevant prior experience.

UK food hygiene certificates don't have an expiry date. It is left to the discretion of the food business operator or environmental health officer to decide whether a refresher course is needed. This may be a result of changes to legislation or technological developments in food hygiene.

Training providers

Check with your local authority if they provide a formal training course. Alternatively, you can find out more about suitable courses from your local authority, local library, further education college or contact one of the awarding bodies for food safety. You can find details about awarding bodies on the internet.

Links to FSA online training (on food allergy, vacuum packing and food labelling requirements) as well as our 'Safer food, better business' food safety management system can be found on this page.

Watch our training videos

Food safety coaching videos

Our 10 short videos provide best practice guidance on a number of potential food safety issues. Each video is about a minute long. They demonstrate these and other food hygiene practices:

  • effective handwashing
  • chilling foods down as quickly as possible
  • checking that foods are cooked thoroughly
  • effective cleaning
  • what to do if a member of staff is ill at work
  • keeping pests out of your business, what to look for and the action to take

Bacteria Bite Business video

This video shows the importance of good food hygiene, focusing on the 4 Cs (cleaning, cooking, chilling and cross-contamination). It shows kitchen staff, in a surreal café setting, making the mistakes that can lead to food poisoning. It also tells you what to do to make sure food will be safe to eat.